Welcome to Playing the Tips!
Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from Rotoworld.com. We’ll have all of our selections from the GolfChannel.com, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf plus my new expanded feature on my weekly selection for One-and-Done players.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
Quicken Loans National (QLN)
Glass ($15,020,327; Rank: 1,010)
Well, when Group 4 is the biggest earner, the week hasn’t gone as planned. Bud Cauley did open with 63 and finish T11. Bubba Watson never fired; Brooks Koepka went in reverse after opening with 65 and Andrew Svoboda didn’t continue his solid run of form. Add all of that up and out of the top 1,000 I go.
Group 1: Jason Day
Group 2: Brandt Snedeker
Group 3: Martin Flores
Group 4: Billy Hurley III
ANALYSIS: I swore I would never again leave off Woods in the GC game but this week is the exception, not the rule. Jason Day looks on point again as he’s healthy. Snedeker is a bit of chaser here but after back-to-back top 10s and four rounds of par or better last year at Congressional, I’m down. Martin Flores has been on form and Billy Hurley III is the hometown hero who finished T4 here in his only appearance in 2012. Sorry, Bud Cauley. I was THIS close to loading up on you again!
Rob Bolton ($12,467,969; Rank: 5,569)
Group 1: Jason Day
Group 2: Brendon Todd
Group 3: Brian Harman
Group 4: Bud Cauley
ANALYSIS: Rob joins Ned with support of Cauley in Group 4 and goes alone with Todd and Harman in Groups 3 and 4. No surprise Jason Day is in Group 1.
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($14,327,053; Rank: 1,778)
Group 1: Jason Day
Group 2: Brandt Snedeker
Group 3: Ben Martin
Group 4: Billy Hurley III
Ned Brown ($16,557,678; Rank: 229)
Group 1: Jason Day
Group 2: Brandt Snedeker
Group 3: Aaron Baddeley
Group 4: Bud Cauley
ANALYSIS: Ned swung and missed at the Travelers but he had the EXACTA in the U.S. Women’s Open with Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie. He’s everywhere, folks! He’s going with Cauley THIS week after I had him last week. We match the first two so it’s going to be down to picks three and four. Stop laughing, Ned, I’m TRYING to catch you!
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf. He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years. Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. He’ll lead us off each week in the Yahoo! game.
Travelers Points: 168
Spring Segment Points: 1,767
Spring Ranking: 4,670
Season Points: 3,695
Season Ranking: 3,055
Brandt Snedeker: He is finally rounding into form with a T9 at the US Open and a T11 last week at the Travelers. His history at the Quicken Loans National (QLN) is very good when played at Congressional with a T8 in '07, a T5 in '09 and a T8 last year.
Tiger Woods: The tough call this week is if fantasy players should use Tiger Woods this week. It's hard to know the state of Woods' game, which makes using him this week a leap of faith. I'm penciling him in right now because Woods has a way to be able to practice into being competitive. If any negative news on Woods comes out before the start of the tournament, I will switch him out and use Marc Leishman in his place.
Jordan Spieth: He has been one of the most consistent players on the TOUR this season with 13 top 20s and 5 top 10s since the start of the New Year. He played well here last year in his sixth place finish. I have two starts left with Spieth, so I'm going to try to keep him on my bench this week, but I won't hesitate to use him if my other players falter.
Jason Day: Since returning from his thumb injury, Day has played well with three top 20 finishes in four starts, including a T4 at the US Open. His recent record at the QLN is solid with a T8 in '12 and a T21 last year.
Justin Rose: He has been playing some very consistent golf recently with six top 25s in his last seven worldwide starts. Those looking at his history in the QLN should note that his championship in '10 came at Aronimink, when it hosted the championship, while Congressional was being readied for the '11 US Open.
Bill Haas: I think it's a very tough call for the last spot between Bill Haas and Webb Simpson. I'm giving the nod to Haas due he hasn't missed a cut this season (one withdrawal) and that he is the defending champion.
Brendon Todd: He has had a very hot hand recently with a championship at the Bryon Nelson, a T5 at Colonial, a T8 at Memorial and a T17 at the US Open. He has played only twice at the QLN, with his best result coming last year in a T13 finish.
K.J. Choi: He has been rounding into form over the last six weeks and he could have been in a playoff last week for the Travelers title if Kevin Streelman hadn't finished with seven straight birdies to snatch the title. He has missed his last three cuts in the QLN at Congressional, but he playing well right now and he won the championship here in '07.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Travelers Points: 142
Spring Segment Points: 1,800
Spring Ranking: 2,181
Season Points: 3,834
Season Ranking: 292
Travelers Points: 122
Spring Segment Points: 1,638
Spring Ranking: 24,140
Season Points: 3,643
Season Ranking: 5,407
Travelers Points: 136
Spring Segment Points: 1,731
Spring Ranking: 8,958
Full Season Points: 3,711
Full Season Ranking: 2,523
Tiger Woods: With nine starts remaining, I feel I can plug him in here as I have nothing to lose. He’s not going to play nine events the rest of the way so I have nothing to “save” this start for. It’s a wonderful insurance policy to have and I have a feeling that I’m not the only gamer with this theory this week!
Brandt Snedeker: Please, please, please ramp the greens up as fast as possible. Woods always complains that they are too slow EVERYWHERE so I’m hoping Snedeker has the advantage this week.
Jordan Spieth: In a thin field at the top I’m going to plug the penultimate start for the 20-year old Texan. Great mind, great short game and great result last year finishing sixth.
Jason Day: His health issues are in the rear-view mirror and he closed well last week at the Travelers with 67-65. Oh, and he shot eight-under and LOST a U.S. Open on this track.
Billy Horschel: I know he’s not putting well. Gamers know he’s not putting well. But we ALL know he’s destroying it off the tee and GIR. In Yahoo! he’s a perfect risk-reward because he can get low on hard courses. And he can blow up. I love the risk!
Webb Simpson: I should have used Rose, Bradley or Haas here but I’m going with the best putter of the four listed. Simpson played very solidly in Memphis (T3) and I look for him to back that up this week.
Brendon Todd: For me, he’s the only no-brainer this week in Group C. There are PLENTY of players to fill the second spot, as usual, but there is only one that gamers must lineup.
Ryan Palmer: He’ll take it deep, peg GIR and roll in a few on the Bentgrass this week. With most players opting for Choi, Hoffman or even Brendan Steele, I’m going with the guy who finished T15 in 2012 and T31 last year.
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!
CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.
WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.
The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.
OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history… Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.
HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.
Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!
Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em. Sigh. Another week brings another disappointing selection as I add a whopping $57,000 to my morbid total.
FIO: Same as last year, Rickie Fowler. He’s working with Butch Harmon to get to the next level and he’s played SoCal courses plenty in his young life. He finished up last week at Humana 67-66 and he’s finished T5, T20, T13 and T6 last year in four career starts. I’ll save Woods and Mickelson for down the road for bigger winner’s checks. Snedeker and Walker were also considered and are solid options for this week. Fowler was just as bad as the other four I had listed, save for Woods’ MDF cash. Tough week in OAD for most I’m guessing. MC $0.
WMPO: Ryan Palmer. He’s on fire, can really putt and was fifth here last year. His excellent 64 saw him make the cut but his 70-72 weekend resulted in T48 at $15,772. I finished strong last year because I had a stable full of studs from The Open Championship through the FedExCup Playoffs. I’m not panicking. Yet.
AT&T PEBBLE: Jimmy Walker is the pick this week. He’s a beast on the West Coast and he’s had time to recover from his illness after MC at Torrey Pines. BANG TRISCUITS. Winner, winner, chicken dinner and $1,188,000.
NTO: Dustin Johnson goes to bat this week for Team Glass. His form is excellent and the fact that he’s banged top 10s in half of his trips here doesn’t hurt either. Tacos for everyone! Johnson’s solo second adds $723,600 to the bank! #heatwave
WGC-Match Play: Ian Poulter will be my hedge this week. His recent starts hardly inspire but there’s no doubting his inner fortitude in Match Play. He is the 2010 champ and was fourth last year. I don’t see myself using him anywhere else this season. Hunter Mahan would be choice No. 2 but I don’t like his draw with the sizzling Zach Johnson. Don’t forget Mahan played in the last group in the U.S. Open and The Open in 2013. Ah, Poults…$48,000.
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell is the choice this week. There has been no rust after his time off this winter and I’m encouraged after his result at Pebble and WGC-Match Play. I’m using Mickelson at Pinehurst so this is an easy play. He was three-under heading into the weekend. He was even when the weekend was over. Add $15,600 to the bank. That couldn’t cover Bolton’s Lear jet for the weekend…
WGC-CC: With a massive prize pool, I have no problem pulling the trigger on, as for reasons mentioned above, on an ultra-premium player. GO MCILROY GO! After making a birdie on No. 1 on Sunday, He was just four back. That was his last birdie of the day, sigh, T25, $76,000.
Valspar: It was down to Furyk or Donald, but Donald had only ONE bad round last week! Go Luke Go! Donald finished T4, good for $235,600. Another cash and another top five works for me.
VTO: It came down to Charley Hoffman and Freddie Jacobson last week and the American with the impeccable track record at Valero won the starting spot. He didn’t disappoint as he ground-out a T11 to rack up $136,400. #verynice
Shell Houston Open: The big Swede I should have went with was Freddie Jacobson but instead it was Henrik Stenson. I have now been severely toasted on two premium players in 2014 as McIlroy (T25, WGC-CC) and Stenson (T54) have given me absolutely nothing. Yes, $14,456 is nothing in this game.
Masters: The Westwood for a two-and-done was more solid advice than going with (again) injured Jason Day. He rallied nicely for T20 but that’s not what I need in big events. I’ll add $101,600 to the kitty.
Here are my results in the four big payday events:
Ian Poulter: WGC-Match Play: T33
Rory McIlroy: WGC-CC: T25
Jason Day: Masters: T20
Sergio Garcia: THE PLAYERS: Third
Phil Mickelson: U.S. Open T35; reality checked
RBC Heritage: Donald would obviously be the selection this week but I’ve burned him at Tampa. I’m going with Jim Furyk this week as he returns to a track where he’s had plenty of successes and his game has been in fine form the past month. I also considered Spieth and Kuchar for this spot but after a trying weekend at the Masters, I’ll save them both for down the road. As I mentioned above, I #fantasyfailed in so many ways on Kuchar this week I’ve lost count. Jim Furyk did exactly what gamers would expect, a top 10 (T7) and $187,050.
Zurich Classic: The safe pick this week would be Justin Rose but as I’ve demonstrated above, I DON’T PLAY SAFE. Or smart, sadly, for that matter. Whatever. That was the FIRST SENTENCE I wrote last week. Top 10s are GREAT people! Sadly, T29s are not and that’s what Graham DeLaet racked up for me last week. Sure it’s $44,200 but that’s not what I was looking for from a guy who made only FOUR bogeys on the week!!!
Wells Fargo: Since I’ve burned McIlroy, Furyk, Fowler and Walker, that leaves me Westwood, Moore, Rose and Holmes from my top eight. As I’ve mentioned, I’m leaving Rose for larger fish fryings and I would suggest that Holmes makes a nice choice for TADs this week. That leaves last week’s champion in Malaysia, Lee Westwood and Ryan Moore. Moore’s current form is the biggest concern and that’s the least of my worries with the Englishman. Westwood will fly the flag this week for the S.S. Tirefire. SO CLOSE YET SO FAR as Holmes was the suggestion in the TWO and Done so hopefully Don from the PNW read the column!! As we all know, Westwood MC.
THE PLAYERS: For those of you who didn’t blow Westwood out last week, he’ll make a tasty TAD pick this week to go along with Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk or Sergio Garcia. Since I’ve burned three of the four mentioned above, I’m going with the Spaniard to claim his second title here. Vamos Sergio! Wow. All FOUR of those picks hit the T6 or better last week! I know what that means this week: carnage. Fine. I’m not scared.
HPBNC: I’m going with #SpiethBoner in his backyard. Keegan Bradley would make a fine selection as well and I should hedge but WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE? I wouldn’t talk you out of Woodland either as I’m really high on him this week as well but I’ve burned him already. For the TOADs (TwOAndDones) in the crowd, Marc Leishman is the no-brainer here. Add Jordan Spieth to the Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day pile of premium players that I have burned with awful results. At least my TOAD pick with Leishman was quality. Spieth finished T37 for $30,403.
CPIC: There are two reasons I like Zach Johnson this week. One, I’ve already burned Jim Furyk. Two, the win pool is almost $300k more than the JDC where I will burn Stricker. LET’S GET GREEDY. There are three chalk players this week and I’ve mentioned two of them. Matt Kuchar is the third. Oh, and Paul Casey was mentioned for the TOAD. O-fer EVERYTHING last week. #awesome. Zach Johnson finished 73rd, or third-to-last, for a whopping $12,416.
Memorial: I’m going with Charl Schwartzel here even though only seven of 38 winners over the years are non-American. He’s a steady-eddy and his last three starts here have all improved and have all been inside the top 25. Well, that worked out nicely as the South African finished T8 for $167,400. This is part of the column where I would mention he was T5 beginning Sunday if I was bitter but I’m not.
FESJC: A thin field leaves me with few premium choices as I am burning Mickelson next week at Pinehurst and DJ has already bagged me a solo second at Riviera. John Senden and Paul Casey are the only two in my Call to Order that I have not played this season. I’m going to keep it simple stupid and roll with Aussie who has been firing all season long. Sendo wento homo earlio with MC. Rubbish. The alternate selections of DJ, Westwood and Palmer fell just as flat. Complete throw away week last week.
U.S. Open: I’ve had Phil Mickelson circled for this event for 364 days. Do I wish he was playing better? No. This week is this week. The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open. I’m looking for some #Philanthropy to get back into the top 500 or so in the GC game. Well, Mickelson was, well, Mickelson but sadly not U.S. Open Phil Mickelson. He was 2014 Mickelson. He was T35. $59,588 will have to do.
Travelers: It’s time for #BubbaGolf! Like Mickelson, this play has been planned out for some time so I hope I’m not a day late and a million or so dollars short. #fingerscrossed #BubbaGolf resulted in T31 or worse for the third tournament in a row. #FadeMe
QLN: I’m sending the quiet assassin Brendon Todd to bat this week to shake it up. He’s better than you think and his game is a solid as it gets. Gamers, Brandt Snedeker and Jordan Spieth won’t be terrible choices this week. Neither will Keegan Bradley. With limited course history on a difficult track, this might be the week to enter a big-timer in the lineup.
SEASON TOTAL: $4,446,267; 32 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Thirds: 1; Sergio Garcia (PLAYERS)
Top 5s: 4
Top 10s: 8
Top 25s: 15
Thermometer: What temperature is absolute zero anyhow? #math
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at the QLN and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.